|Life Blog 2: Community
I have been having an email conversation with a friend who, like many of us, is feeling a strong pull towards community, and have decided to share some of my thoughts in this blog.
In essence, what I envisage is a bit of a combination of an intentional community and a town with a sense of community. I see a small group of people choosing to live close enough to share various aspects of their lives, and inviting or attracting others to also come and live close by. This ‘intentional community’ works energetically and practically in the wider community of which it is a part. It works out its own momentum by following its inner compass.
From my admittedly limited experience of intentional community, it is easy to become self-absorbed and carry a sense of one’s own specialness. Certainly there may be a special impetus that initiates an intentional community, but then the challenge is to keep that impulse alive in an on-going openness to the divine spark – a constant listening inwardly, sharing, responding. When an intentional community sees itself as a model, or example, it is very easy to fall into a sense of being above or better than.
So, if I were to re-envisage intentional community, it would look like this:
It begins with one household purchasing (preferably) a home in a small town or suburb. This may be just a couple. They make a commitment to live in a way that fosters connection, cooperation and respect at every level – within the household, with those in the wider community of which they are part, between themselves and land/nature, and between themselves and the divine impulse, or Source. In this last regard, there is a commitment to allow the soul to lead – the inner compass, not just of the individual, but of the household, and as it grows, of the intentional community.
The intentional community grows slowly of its own volition. Perhaps there is a choice to manifest a particular element, skill, or configuration, but for the most part, those whom the soul of the intentional community chooses or calls would turn up. Living in close proximity (walking/cycling/wheelbarrowing distance) seems good, and/or another little cluster of household forms. Food growing is fundamental, and working together to do so.
Meanwhile, members of the intentional community are connecting with the local community, learning what best to grow, and how, and coming to know the community and how it ticks. The intentional community, while understanding itself as an intentional community, to all intents and purposes relates as friends. It has no intention to influence the wider community of which it finds itself part – it just learns from and contributes to in a flow of give and take. It is unassuming and quiet, delighting in its good fortune.
How does this land for you? I would be very interested to have your feedback and response.
Sounds like a good way to live and the unassuming and organic nature of it would feel like a community of like minded people without being cult like! Nice 🙂
I hadn’t thought of that, Nicci, but it feels important. Thanks.
I love what you share in this blog.
What lands for me – “It is unassuming and quiet, delighting in its good fortune.”
There is a sense of peace and acceptance of all that is.
That’s a lovely reflection, Mona, and true to my dream of community. Thank you.
Beautifully written and I like the words leading by inner compass and quiet and assuming.
This feels like what we are doing.
There are plenty of souls desiring this at the moment who feel isolated and want connection without control.
I thought it was very similar to what you are doing! I look forward to being “on the ground” with you both for a while.xx
I appreciate the gentleness and peacefulness of your vision Margaret.
I have been watching the birthing pains of “new community” in my region and I see this ongoing ‘labour’ has its difficulties and challenges depending on the thoughts and emotions of those driving their visions.
This way of living is very new to my own personal journey and it is fascinating to be witnessing I guess what many have been aspiring to or actually living in for some time.
Thank you, Donna. This is helpful. Perhaps the clue here is in your words “driving their visions”. There is a delicate balance, I feel, between holding to the essence of a vision that has arisen at soul level, and allowing the vision to unfold in ways that may be unanticipated. This can be both scary and beautiful!
I am finding myself craving, thirsting, longing for a meaningful life in the company and close proximity of others, within nature, growing food, tending to the soil, being in communion with everything, staying open to the unfolding and the unknown. I resonate a lot with the comment about the striving and the labour and often the failure of “new communities” and felt often disheartened and scared that I would never make it into such a group. On the other hand I feel I “must find a community now or build one myself”, which puts me under a lot of pressure. My current life could be described as lacking freedom, simplicity, meaning, community, it comes to me in waves, so the feeling is not there all the time, but returning to me quite often, mostly in morning meditation. There is an urgency and a feeling of alarm which I know are not the best companions for a peaceful and openhearted path to community. Maybe you could assist me a little bit?
I can so feel the depth and urgency you bring here, Christiane. I will contact you to see what we might explore together. . .